Weekend Warriors, The Free Version

The last time you saw the garden bed in front of our house, it looked like this:
If you remember, we were a little iffy about leaving that Christmas tree...

So, we called our good friend, Dan, who went to school for landscaping architecture...

And also happens to love pizza and beer... which we can afford (professional landscaping, no... Coors Light, yes).

So Dan came to dinner, and gave us some pointers on our sad little garden...

He started by telling us to lose the Christmas tree...

So then we were left with this:

I'd love to show you a picture without Lovebug in it... but ever since we ripped those trees out, he pretty much is obsessed with playing in the dirt.

Three year old boys love to get messy.

And play with tigers and wear no pants, apparently.

Anyway, back to Dan.... he wears pants, and knows his shit when it comes to this whole landscaping thing.

So I was super bummed that about fifteen minutes after he came to help us out, the skies opened up and did this:

Stupid, stupid sky.

So, we decided to just discuss possibilities, instead of having Dan spray paint the spots where plants should be planted (you know whose idea that was).

Dan understood our budget on the project (zero dollars and zero cents), and gave us suggestions on the types of plants we could use/dig up/borrow in order to make this garden bed accentuate our home, not hide it.

Meeting with Dan was so helpful for Husband and I, who know nothing about landscaping, but really love to embrace the DIY.

Plus, hello, he saved us like... may-ja bucks just by letting us pick his brain.

After a quick crash course on how to keep things alive, and place them so they look most ascetically pleasing to the eye (for when we put our house on the market... one day), Husband and I feel ready to attack that soil, and rob our mother's of their perennials.

And maybe whatever they have in the fridge... in case we get hungry while we are stealing from them.


Plant thieves have to eat too.


11 Months

And just like that... we are only weeks away from her first birthday.

Ladybug went and turned 11 months on us... and here I am wondering how it is even possible that we have a daughter...a year later, it is still not real to me.

Her months in review look like this:

Every month I think the same two things: I wish I hadn't used a shitty cell phone picture for month 2... and I wish I had done this for Lovebug.

Oh well.

In case you have eagle eyes, or have memorized my blog... she is sitting on curtains  from her nursery in this month's photo... which were originally a set of $20 sheets from Home Goods.

This month Girlfriend kind of started becoming a real life toddler.

Lots of new emotions and knowing how to act in order to get what she wants sort of thing.

She also started walking with a push toy, which Lovebug didn't do until almost 13 months....

...A special thank you friends of ours who have no children and thought it would be a good idea to teach her how to walk... I will be sure to repay the favor when you have kids.

In case you are blind and couldn't tell by the pictures above, she is super duper proud of herself... she was all,

"Yes!! This is what I have been waiting for! Work for me fat thighs... WORK!"

Go Girlfriend... Go Girlfriend... Go!

To answer your questions:

Yes, she is wearing a onesie that says, "CROSSFIT," on the butt... Yes, Lovebug is wearing undies, Yes, it looks like my friend just ran over and knocked her down.

Aside from learning how to RUN with the push toy, Ladybug also learned to understand the word, "NO!" this month... in large part because I scream it at her seventeen times a day.

Ladybug is fiercely independent.

It must be a whole girl vs. boy thing, because I am not used to a child that doesn't want to be with me 24/7.

I feel like if she could, she would love to put me in my place, like... "Mom... I am not a baby. I got this. Let me be, Woman."

Girlfriend got Hand, Foot & Mouth this month... which I should have known was going to happen, because the chick puts every single thing she sees in her mouth.

...Like when she ate my deodorant two weeks ago... just shy of turning 11 months.

That was the day I lost my Poison Control virginity.

Picture me... having a heart attack...sweating... waving my palm in front of my face like... deep breaths, deep breaths.

Watching Ladybug, spit out white chunks of chalky arm pit freshener.... scratching at her tongue because that shit was stuck on there good:

"Hello, Poison Control? My daughter ate Dove Deodorant. Original Clean. Not Powder Fresh."

She was fine thank goodness, and Poison Control was super nice and made me feel like it was totally normal to eat deodorant.

I actually hung up the phone feeling like a good parent, and not one whose child eats toiletries.

I know. I was surprised too.

Girlfriend also went in a lake for the first time, and loved the shit out of it.

My Sister- In- Law was a super good sport about holding her while Girlfriend treated us all to a  super graphic swim show.

Dollface was obviously not amused that we were all laughing at her yoga swimming... hence the disgusted look on her face.

She was also not even remotely entertained by fireworks... and pretty much screamed her head off for an hour on the 4th of July.

The whole process of being weaned pisses her off too... poor little doll is not ready to give up being fed on demand whenever she damn well pleases.

Girlfriend is not shy about head butting me and ripping my shirt off whenever she feels like it... it makes me sad, but the time has come to claim back my tata's... slowly but surely.

She has started to cry in her sleep because she's teething... but doesn't actually wake up that often anymore. Phew.

The more teeth she gets, the more Girlfriend is hamming it up for the camera... like...

"Check out my teeth! I grew 'em myself!"

Her hair in the front is taking it's sweet time getting long, but the back (ie: the mullet) is getting shaggy/curly/wavy...almost time for pigtails... annnnny day now.

When she is tired... Girlfriend pulls the crap out of her poor hair, and ends up looking like a mad scientist.

For real.

This month Dollface became a total flirt around men.

Give her a room full of men and she is all smiles and head tilts... she is such a girl.

She even crosses her legs when she sleeps.

Of course this month's photo shoot would be the easiest, as it is the second to last one ever... that would happen.

Girlfriend showed us all her new expressions and was in super cute model mode the whole time.

Everyday we see a little bit more of her personality come through, and we are realizing that she is a indeed a crazy little nut... just like her brother.

She has begun to all out harass Lovebug; biting his feet, pulling his hair, stealing his toys... just about anything to get his attention.

We are lucky that Lovebug loves her, and understands that she is smaller than him.... I swear I keep waiting for him to haul off and deck her... she really does torture him.

But he loves her, and doesn't care one bit.

I am smart enough to know that this bestie-ness between the two of them is temporary, so we are enjoying it while it lasts!

The older she gets, the better they play...

Lovebug is helping her learn to walk and talk... and is more excited than anyone else that she is about to turn the big ONE YEAR!

Meanwhile... I am planning a birthday party, and begging my Doll to stay eleven months forever.


Can You Ever Go Back??

Someone emailed me recently and asked if I still write on my chalkboard...

Why yes... yes I do.

This concept has been on my mind a lot lately.

You know, Husband and I bought this house of ours four years ago... when we were 26, newly married, and newly pregnant.

I pretty much searched realtor.com until I reached the end and then decided on a town exactly 60 miles from where we grew up, because we could get a lot of house, for a little money.

And we did.

Our Tiny Place, is not actually tiny... it's pretty large, and on a pretty decent piece of land....

In a town we know nothing about, at an end of the state we had more or less never been to...

Our family, and everything we grew up around, is 60 minutes South.

None of this mattered to us before, but now... Lovebug is getting ready for school in a few years.

And we don't get to see our family as much as we'd like.

And for the love of God we need a date night... just one.

I know I could care.com-it-up and find a sitter but you know what... I'll just come out with it... I don't trust people..

And no one would want to work for me when I answer the door and say, "Pee in this cup, and give me a lock of hair, your Social Security card and oh yeh... here's a breathalyzer."

Sorry, but my kids are my heart and my soul... call me crazy, but no sitter is good enough. Yet.

One day I will be desperate like my mom and stop teenagers in the grocery store... but I'm not there... yet.

I know some of my readers live 8 or 10 hours away from their free babysitters parents, so don't think I am whining...I promise, I'm not.

Living exactly 60 minutes away from family sometimes just feels like a tease.

It's close enough to do day trips on the weekend, and far enough to ruin our nap schedule... and be annoying with two antsy kids.

I am insanely jealous of people who can just stop by and see their families... or who can call their Mom and say, "Do you care if I drop the kids off for an hour while I run to the store?"

Oh to grocery shop alone... or, to not have to pack twenty seven bags every time we go anywhere.

I feel especially lonesome to have family nearby when Husband travels.

I find myself begging my friends for mid-week dinner nights...

"Please, oh, please, oh please... I'm so lonely... have dinner with us, please, please?"

I'm so annoying when I beg.

I feel like we came to this town, where we knew no one, and made ourselves a sweet little life.

I feel like we were planted... and we bloomed.

We painted, we scrubbed, we labor-of-loved this place upside down... we joined a community, we made our own friends, made friends for our kids... made a life.

We brought two babies home from the Hospital, and have begun to raise them into semi-nutty, super cute tiny humans... in this little spot that we were planted.

Writing this is making me feel guilty, but I swear, I promise, we love this life....

But I have this itch.

This... I-want-to-move-closer-to-what-I-know itch....

Back to where I was raised... to a place where no matter how long I am away, when I go back, it still feels like, "home".

Back to the town where I met my Husband... which just so happens to be... one of the wealthiest counties in the Nation.

It is so close, yet so far... we could never afford that move right now.

But if we could...

Can you ever go back?

To where you were raised?

Does it feel weird?? Does it fill the void??

Would we work so hard to afford to live there, that we didn't actually get to LIVE there?

Will my kids have my friends as teachers??

Will they see my name on the wall in a bathroom stall?? (hopefully they will have painted since then).

Will I immediately regret living too close to our Mothers and beg the new owners to sell us back our house??

Moving is a long way off... but I think of it every day.

Of giving this home and town and life the very best that we've got...

Of blooming the shit out of this garden that we planted...

and then maybe.... a year or two down the line....

ripping out our roots, and growing them somewhere else.



Lovebug asked for some ice cream.

Of course, with my crazy child... it is never as easy as, "Can I have some ice cream?"

Instead, he asks, "May I have ice cream with use-cream and sprinkles."

(Remember when he used to call sprinkles, "beans?")

I know what you're thinking.

You are thinking of that song... "I-scream, You-scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!"


I was too... but then I remembered I have never in my life said those words to my son.

And so began a game of process of elimination... which when played with a three year old, nearly always has a ridiculous ending.

I had no clue what the eff "use-cream," was... or why Lovebug wanted it with his ice cream.

I asked a couple more times, just to be sure... "Use-cream? That's what it's called?"

"Yes, use-cream... I yike use-cream... it tastes good in my tummy."

Okay... so we know for sure use-cream is edible.

"Use- cream?"

"Yes, in the can, with the top, and the thing."

Oh. Of course. The can with the top and the thing.

Lovebug got frustrated before I did for once, and dragged me to the fridge....opened the door and put the Whipped Cream in my hand.

"Use-cream, Mom. Use-cream. You know... it goes... USSSSSSEEEEEE."

Well whatdaya know.... Whipped Cream does sound like USSSSSSSEEEEE.


Wordy Wednesday

I vow to always be happy to have pictures with my children in my arms. 

And to never care if they are looking in the opposite direction, or covered in food.

Life is too short to hassle kids about saying Cheese... and looking perfect... 
childhood moments are fleeting, and precious. 

I vow to enjoy them.

Even if I have Cheerios in my hair, Popsicle on my shirt, and dirt under my nails. 

My kids love me best... when I'm messy.

And that, is the truth.


Ice Smashing

Earlier today I posted this picture on my Facebook page... and told you guys how Lovebug was beating the Hell out of his toys with a meat mallet.

You may have tried this with your own kids by now (this project is EVERYWHERE online), and if you haven't yet you should.

I threw about fifteen of Lovebug's toys in a Tupperware bin, added water, and froze it overnight.

Then, I gave him his Thor hat, and a meat mallet (because we know that Thor has a magical hammer that controls wind, rain and lightning.. duh) and let him go to town.

It took awhile.

Like, an hour, maybe more to get them all out.

My job was to sit  in the sun and take pictures.

He even let me help.

Actually... he started to get claustrophobic for his friends and was all, "The frogs are COLD!!! Get them out!!!"

And then when I freed them (which took forever)... he was all, "Aww... hey fellas, how ya doin?"

I can't stand this kid sometimes he is so freaking funny.

We only ran into a brief snag when I suggested he "throw" the hammer at the ice.

Good thing I have cat like reflexes.... he damn near took my head off with that thing.

Of course I didn't mean actually, "throw," it... I meant, "wind up like when you throw a football..." "hold it over your head and really put your body into it..."

No matter what I said... my cues resulted in a hammer flying at my face.

I wanted to be mad. But he kept looking at me like this...

I know.

And I'm trying to be a tough guy but he is looking so freaking cute with his whole face/eye/everything combo that I just gave him a brief, "Please don't throw a hammer at my head, Dude," talk... and let him carry on with his toy smashing business.

And in case you are wondering... we had only one toy-meets-meat-mallet casualty.

Poor Captain America.

It's my fault really... I should have known better than to put a toy with an attached piece into the mix.

Don't worry... he is in, "Mommy's Hospital," as Lovebug calls it... resting up from a brief glue gun surgery.

And the whole time we were smashing ice and toys, my sweet little Girlfriend just sat in her high chair playing with a tiger and eating some goldfish.

What a doll... amIright?

I say it all the time... but I'm a lucky lady.

Nothing like a morning of superheros, tigers, and gold fish to put things into perspective for you.

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